Comparative assessment of lowland and highland Smallholder farmers’ vulnerability to climate variability in Ethiopia
Abstract:Desalegn Yayeh Ayal
Addis Ababa University
Smallholder farmers’ near term scenario (2010-2039) vulnerability nature and magnitude was examined using twenty-two exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity vulnerability indicators. Assessment of smallholder farmers’ vulnerability to climate variability revealed the importance of comprehending exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity induces. Due to differences in level of change in rainfall, temperature, drought frequency, their environmental interaction and variations on adaptive capacity the nature and magnitude of smallholder farmers vulnerability to physical, biological and epidemiological challenges of crop and livestock production varied within and across agro-ecologies. Highlanders’ sensitive relates with high population density, erosion and crop disease and pest damage occurrence. Whereas lowlanders will be more sensitive to high crop disease and pest damage, provenance of livestock disease, absence of alternative water sources, less diversified agricultural practices. However, with little variations in the magnitude and nature of vulnerability, both highlanders and lowlanders are victims of climate variability and change.
Given the ever increasing population, temperature and unpredictable nature of rainfall variability, the study concluded that future adaptation strategies should capitalize on preparing smallholder farmers for both extremes- excess rainfall and flooding on the one hand and severe drought on the other.